A domino is a flat, thumb-sized rectangular block that bears an arrangement of dots or spots (often called pips) on one side and is blank or identically patterned on the other. There are 28 such pieces in a complete set. They are normally doubled in length and width, making them easier to re-stack after use. Dominoes are used to play a variety of games. These games include blocking, scoring and positioning games. They can also be used for artistic purposes, such as creating a picture with stacked tiles or 3-D structures.

Antoine Fats, 1928-2017, U.S. rhythm and blues pianist, singer and composer.

Like playing cards, of which they are a variant, dominoes bear identifying marks on only one of their sides and are blank or identically patterned on the other. The pips on a domino are usually arranged in a square, but can be in a circle, oval, triangle, or other shapes. The identifying mark on a domino can be anywhere from one to six or more pips, and the open end of the domino may be on either side.

Dominoes are typically made from materials that are lighter and more durable than other similar toys, such as woods; metals; polymer clay; and glass or ceramic. Some dominoes are painted, while others have a unique finish and are made from natural materials such as silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or ebony with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on them. Natural material dominoes are more expensive than similar sets that are manufactured from plastic or other synthetic materials.

In a game of domino, players make plays by matching the ends of dominoes and laying them down in lines and angular patterns. The configuration of the dominoes that are being played is sometimes referred to as the layout, string, or line of play. The open end of the last domino played in the line is often marked with a number to indicate its position in the line.

After a set of dominoes has been shuffled, each player draws the number of tiles permitted for his hand according to the rules of the particular game being played. The first player to draw a tile that he is allowed to play makes the first play and may be referred to as the setter, the downer, or the lead.

Once the order of play is established, the remaining tiles in the stock are reshuffled before a new round begins. Depending on the rules of the game, a player who draws more than he is entitled to may be permitted to buy tiles from his opponents (see Passing and Byeing below).

To make her massive domino art installations, Hevesh starts each project with a theme or idea, then creates a plan on paper of how she wants the piece to fall. She might plan for straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, stacked walls, or 3-D structures such as towers and pyramids. She tests each section of an installation and films them in slow motion to ensure that the whole thing works as intended. Once she’s confident that all the sections will work together, she starts to put them together. She builds her largest 3-D sections first, then adds flat arrangements, and finally puts up the lines of dominoes.